Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
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Located on the northeastern tip of the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend serves as a charming backdrop for a colorful kayaking adventure.

Originally settled in 1851, many of Port Townsend's now historic buildings were built after the completion of a railroad connecting Port Townsend to Tacoma and with the hope that the town would become one of the largest port towns on the West Coast. The failure of the Northern Pacific Railroad to build the connection caused many of the town's residents to settle elsewhere. The construction of the paper mill in the 1920s was a much needed boon to the local economy. Today, Port Townsend is known for its love of local arts, local beer, and boats.

The abandoned Fort Warden (which was built in conjunction with Fort Casey and Fort Flagler to create an artillery "triangle of fire" defense against a naval invasion) serves a great kayaking launch point. The waters in Admiralty Inlet to the south can get a little rough at times, but rounding the bend at Point Hudson can provide protection from the waves. Once around the point, there are several piers to paddle under and around. There are a couple of beaches which serve a great landings to explore the town. Further down the coast is the paper mill, and beyond that is Fort Townsend State Park. Across Port Townsend Bay sit Marrowstone and Indian islands.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Charming town. Lighthouse. Seals.


Lots of boat traffic. Ferry traffic. Water can be difficult to navigate around points.



Site characteristics: Water


Portage required




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